Written by IainB
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Tuesday, 10 May 2011

image for Short Headline Shortage!
An alternative to words in headlines is gestures, and squirrel noises

In a shocking revelation it was revealed and reviled today that all the short headlines for stories on the Spoof, a popular satirical website, have been used up.

"I am flabbergasted," said editor-in-handkerchief, Mark Lowton. "I checked all the headlines we'd used of three words and under and compared them to my 1945 School Dictionary from the Philippines. Every combination of words have been used."

"I have gasted my flabber also," said Colonel Juan, the site's royally appointed King of Tack, "possibly not in a gay way either. No more short headlines. What are we to do?"

The last of the three word headlines was used today, entitled "Short Headline Shortage" it left all future Spoofs looking to have at least four word headlines.

"Can we have four letter headlines?" asked Skoob, the Spoof's nearly house-trained, beer-drinking raincoat. "I know a lot of those. Beer, wine, shot, vodka, port. I also know some thirty-two letter German words! Okay, I don't. Just saying like."

Mark Lowton attempted to play three word Spoofing, by selecting three words at random from the dictionary and searching the Spoof for them.

"I got hits for every phrase," he said. "I even got three stories written by Juan for the headline 'Torville's Undertow Kerfuffle'. Very amusing it was too."

According to deep searches on the site, all the single words for headlines were used up in 1954, although English did introduce several new words to use over time, including most recently, 'grrl' and 'init'. Two word headlines were finally used up in 2008.

"What this using up of three word headlines shows," said Mark Lowton, "Is that the rate of word using is accelerating. Pretty soon we'll have the entire story in the headline."

"Don't be daft," said Skoob. "It just means people were writing two and three word headlines at the same time as one and two word headlines. Bloody intelligentsia can't see the bleedin' obvious sometimes."


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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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